"The poor Portuguese pulled very badly: were disgusting to Tyrawley, he to them; and cried passionately, 'Get us another General;'--upon which, by some wise person's counsel, that singular Artillery Gentleman, the Graf von der Lippe Buckeburg, who gave the dinner in his Tent with cannon firing at the pole of it, was appointed; and Tyrawley came home in a huff. [Varnhagen van Ense, GRAF WILHELM ZUR LIPPE (Berlin, 1845), in
"The improvements he made are said to have been many;--and Portuguese Majesty, in bidding farewell, gave him a park of Miniature Gold Cannon by way of gracious symbol. But, so far as the facts show, he seems to have got from his Portuguese Army next to no service whatever: and, but for the English and the ill weather, would have fared badly against his French and Spaniards,--42,000 of them, advancing in Three Divisions, by the Douro and the Tagus, against Oporto and Lisbon.
"His War has only these three dates of event. 1. May 9th, The northmost of the Three Divisions [ANNUAL REGISTER for 1762, p. 30.] crosses the Portuguese Frontier on the Douro; summons Miranda, a chief Town of theirs; takes it, before their first battery is built; takes Braganza, takes Monte Corvo; and within a week is master of the Douro, in that part, 'Will be at Oporto directly!' shriek all the Wine people (no resistance anywhere, except by peasants organized by English Officers in some parts); upon which Seventy-fours were sent.
"2. Division Second of the 42,000 came by Beira Country, between Tagus and Douro, by Tras-os-Montes; and laid siege to a place called Almeida [northwest some 20 odd miles from CUIDAD RODRIGO, a name once known to veterans of us still living], which Buckeburg had tried to repair into strength, and furnish with a garrison. Garrison defended itself well; but could not be relieved;--had to surrender, August 25th: whereby it seems the Tagus is now theirs! All the more, as Division Three is likewise got across from Estremadura, invading Alemtejo: what is to keep these Two from falling on Lisbon together?
"3. Against this, Buckeburg does find a recipe. Despatches Brigadier Burgoyne with an English party upon a Town called Valencia d'Alcantara [not Alcantara Proper, but Valencia of ditto, not very far from Badajoz], where the vanguard of this Third Division is, and their principal Magazine. Burgoyne and his English did perfectly: broke into the place, stormed it sword in hand (August 27th); kept the Magazine and it, though 'the sixteen Portuguese Battalions' could not possibly get up in time. In manner following (say the Old Newspapers):--
"'The garrison of Almeida, before which place the whole Spanish Army had been assembled, surrendered to the Spaniards on the 25th [August 25th, as we have just heard], having capitulated on condition of not serving against Spain for six months.
"'As a counterbalance to this advantage, the Count de Lippe caused Valencia d'Alcantara to be attacked, sword in hand, by the British troops; who carried it, after an obstinate resistance. The loss of the British troops, who had the principal share in this affair, is luckily but inconsiderable: and consists in Lieutenant Burk of Colonel Frederick's, one sergeant and three privates killed; two sergeants, one drummer, 18 privates wounded; 10 horses killed and 2 wounded [loss not at all considerable, in a War of such dimensions!]. The British troops behaved upon this occasion with as much generosity as courage; and it deserves admiration, that, in an affair of this kind, the town and the inhabitants suffered very little; which is owing to the good order Brigadier Burgoyne kept up even in the heat of the action. This success would probably have been attended with more, if circumstances, that could not well be expected, had not retarded the march of sixteen Portuguese battalions, and three regiments of cavalry.' [Old Newspapers (in
"Upon which--upon which, in fact, the War had to end. Rainy weather came, deluges of rain; Burgoyne, with or without the sixteen battalions of Portuguese, kept the grip he had. Valencia d'Alcantara and its Magazine a settled business, roads round gone all to mire,--this Third Division, and with it the 42,000 in general, finding they had nothing to live upon, went their ways again." NOTE, The Burgoyne, who begins in this pretty way at Valencia d'Alcantara, is the same who ended so dismally at Saratoga, within twenty years:--perhaps, with other War-Offices, and training himself in something suitabler than Parliamentary Eloquence, he might have become a kind of General, and have ended far otherwise than there?--